Monday, May 31, 2010

U.S. sorely needs foil balls

Although I should probably hold my tongue and not criticize the United States on Memorial Day, I must let the U.S. know the truth. Blame Congress, President Obama or the corporations, but the U.S. has dropped the ball. There is a distinct lack of foil balls in our country, and citizens are suffering because of it.

Maybe I'm a hypocrite. I have no foil ball. But, honestly, it is the corporations' fault. Specifically, I blame the conglomerate called "Hostess" for our country's void of foil balls. I have no evidence to support my following claim, but I suspect Fruit Pie the Magician ruined Ho Hos and foil balls.Back in the early '80s, Hostess sold delectable treats called Ho Hos in aluminum foil. After eating a box of Ho Hos, my brother and I would start a foil ball. Those balls never seemed to grow. I suspect my mom may have quietly thrown them away, but regardless, foil balls were in our life.
In the late '80s, Hostess then switched its packaging from aluminum foil to silver, throwaway packaging. That grotesque corporate move meant the end of foil balls in many households, including mine.

Nowadays, the U.S. economy is suffering, and so are works of art (AKA big balls). Sure, the world's biggest ball of twine is in Darwin, Minn., and the biggest popcorn ball shines in Sac City, Iowa. But where is the biggest foil ball?

A genius blogger watched his foil ball grow between 2004 and 2006, but where is that ball now? Someone named Megan bragged on a message board in March about having a 14-foot foil ball, but where on the Internet is there a picture of it?

I am no politician, but I do have a simple five-step quick plan of success for Obama and the U.S.: 1) Clean up oil spill, 2) fix economy, 3) curtail Mideast troops, 4) revamp health-care boondoggle and 5) create foil ball.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I've detected the meaning of life - buried treasure

If you ask teachers to say the two main reasons why they chose their profession, many will say, "July and August."

But not me. I embrace the job and have a zillion more important reasons, including "making a difference." I do enjoy the summers off yet still feel the need to be productive.

With the summer approaching, I am thinking of solid ways of being productive when I am off. I can think of nothing more productive than purchasing a metal detector and striking it rich from the buried treasures found on beaches.

By my calculations, if I buy a Kellyco Hybrid Cobra beach metal detector for $449.95, then I will easily make back my initial investment in 2 years, 9 months.If I had a glorious Kellyco beach metal detector, I would find approximately $0.45 per day, as long as I put eight hours into metal detecting each time. Assuming I did that every day (including the school year) for 2 years, 9 months, I would recoup my $449.95. Then, in the next July and August, I would metal detect every day and earn $27.45. That's what I call easy money!

Whenever I run across something too good to be true, I must take a step back and wonder if what I have discovered is truly that special. After doing the math, thinking through things slowly and clearly, I must say that metal detecting on beaches is the way to go.

If you ever happen to see a metal detecting beach guy, it is obvious. Look at the chap's countenance. Yeah, it's true. He's got the world figured out.

Give me just three years. Expect my skin to turn leathery from being on beaches for eight hours per day. But bank account, get ready. Here comes $27.45!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Morganna, thanks for the mammaries

I rarely watch baseball games, but when I do, I keep hoping Morganna the Kissing Bandit bursts onto the field and smooches a player.

Yeah, that scenario hasn't happened since 1999, but I'm hoping - OK, yearning - it will happen.

As a preteen in the 1980s, I did not know what to make of Morganna, whose measurements are 60-23-39. Why was she disrupting baseball games? Every so often, she would run on a field in the middle of a game and kiss a player. Why were the adults laughing so much?

I would argue that the pinnacle of her kissing-bandit career came in 1979 when she kissed George Brett at the All-Star Game in Seattle (pictured above). The All-Star Game is a big deal, and that means this had to be a premeditated act with baseball p.r. folk involved. ... Man, baseball used to be so cool!Eventually, Morganna kissed more than 50 major league baseball and NBA players. She started her career as a 17-year-old in 1971 in Cincinnati, where she first kissed Pete Rose. She ended her career in December 1999.

Fans and players had different reactions to the Kissing Bandit, and perhaps my favorite reaction came from Detroit Pistons forward Kelly Tripucka, who said, "It was like hugging a mattress. When I saw her coming at me, I thought it was like a Mack truck. I had two options – either get hit or get out of the way. I decided to get hit."

I had a real hard time finding a story asking this important question: "What ever happened to Morganna the Kissing Bandit?" She denied a request to be interviewed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in July 2010, then a few days later, left a voice mail with the reporter explaining her plans and whereabouts.

Today, she is 55 and lives with her husband in Columbus, Ohio. She has not been a kissing bandit for more than a decade and doesn't sign glossies of herself anymore. But if she did, she undoubtedly would sign them with her trademark signature:

"Breast wishes, Morganna"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Oldenburg named greatest living artist

Swedish sculptor Claes Oldenburg edged Jasper Johns for the title of "greatest living artist," according to the Snooze Button Generation's prestigious list of the 10 greatest living artists released today.

The Snooze Button Generation based its list on artists' 1) impact in the world, 2) significance in the art world, 3) auction results and 4) overall hipness. Similar lists focus on the artists' significance in the art world and auction value, but the SBG's list is unique because of adding impact beyond the art world and hipness.

"At first glance, there hardly seems to be any uber-famous living artists," Snooze Button Generation founder and CEO Joe Stevens said. "And in a way, there aren't any. I mean, how many people on this list would you recognize walking down the street? None. But still, you can't deny the significance or hipness of those on this list."

Brice Marden, Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra, Frank Stella and Cy Twombly are among the top 10 living artists whose work is the highest selling, according to ARTnews. All five were snubbed by the Snooze Button Generation's top 10 list, but other big-selling artists made the list.

1. Claes Oldenburg. No living artist may have affected the masses more than Oldenburg. His enormous sculptures, including binoculars in Venice, Calif., free stamp in Cleveland, clothespin in Philadelphia and others show that he is the master of public art. And isn't public art really more important than art confined to museums?

2. Jasper Johns. He is by far the most expensive living artist. David Geffen bought his Gray Numbers (1958) for $40 million, a price tag practically unheard of for a living artist's work. He just turned 80, is not the oldest person on this list and really has not done anything noteworthy since the '60s.3. David Hockney. His photocollages that he refers to as "joiners" created a new medium and are totally cool. He also has high standing in the art world as a painter, but most prefer his joiners.4. Christo. He is often absent from lists like this, but this list rewards public art and accessible work. His wife, Jeanne-Claude, and co-creator of their art passed away in November, after the two had been together for 51 years.

5. Lucian Freud. When surrealism was developing, Freud was part of the movement, then he seemingly became addicted to nudes. He is the grandson of Sigmund Freud and is still breathing at 87.6. Matthew Barney. He may be the least significant artist on this list, yet the most relevant today. At 43, he is by far the youngest, and after his avant-garde Cremaster Cycle, it would be nice if he could top that and prove he is more than just Bjork's live-in husband and baby's daddy.

7. Nan Goldin. This is the only non-white male on the list, which is an awful reality of the art world. This slot probably should have gone to Cindy Sherman, but Goldin's hip, heroin chic photos are more powerful than hers.8. Bruce Nauman. Of living artists, only Johns and Nauman's names appear on Christie’s list of the 200 most expensive objects auctioned by Sotheby’s and Christie’s since 1985. Nauman's work is innovative, yet he may not have ever revealed any mystic truth to the Snooze Button Generation.

9. Andreas Gursky. Perhaps he should be known as "The PhotoShop Master," and, man, his 99-cent photo is da bomb. Art buyers agree. His "99 Cent II" holds the record for highest price paid at auction for a photo. It went for $3.3 million at Sotheby's, London, in 2007.10. Jeff Koons. Big stuff. Cool stuff. Maybe it's kitsch, but so what? He also has an impact with public art, and the Snooze Button Generation loves that.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lawn ornaments are not tacky at all

America has a lot of problems - a dependence on oil, expensive war, ginormous deficit and health-care woes.

But the biggest problem of all is that America has completely missed the boat with lawn ornaments.

These suckers are shiny, artistic, understated and sophisticated. Why do I not see more of them?

Well, a lot of people are misguided when it comes to lawn style. Maybe they think lawn ornaments are tacky, or maybe they think adorning their lawn with a jockey, shiny ball or gnome is too fancy - pretty much the same reason why many people are afraid to drive PT Cruisers.

I guess I'm a hypocrite because I don't have any lawn ornaments, and friends - so-called friends - inform me that they are indeed tacky. But how in the world could a shiny yard globe be tacky? It has healing powers.Lawn jockeys are a whole different conversation. Even though most are white nowadays, they seem racist.

However, according to at least one article, the black jockey in the "Jocko" style originally was a symbol of freedom for runaway slaves. I could not verify it on the Internet, but I believe the PT Cruiser is a symbol for awesomeness.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Iron Chef: Boboli

"Let's eat a Bobo!"

Aaaah, those words were a part of my youth when sometimes my family would a eat home-topped Boboli instead of going out for pie. Yeah, man, those Bobos were good, but curiously, they were absent from my life for many years - gone from approximately 1987 to 2004.

Eventually, Bobos again became part of my life when my brother and the World's Most Sophisticated Man visited me in California and we had an "Iron Chef: Boboli" competition. I made a Thai chicken Bobo, and Sophistication made a bbq chicken Bobo. My bro made a tomato-based Bobo and somehow won the competition.Bobolis are still in grocery stores, but they don't seem the same as back in the 1980s. The big corporation Grupo Bimbo owns the Bobos. But nowadays, Bobos often are sold with pizza sauce, and that seems confining and sacrilegious.

Perhaps I'll make a Bobo soon for nostalgic reasons, but I don't know if I'll ever get back that Bobo glee I had in the '80s.

Monday, May 10, 2010

'Singles' soundtrack: Cool again ... maybe

I rarely look forward to the release of romantic comedies. But I did, not so long ago ... in 1992.

Yeah, I remember looking forward to the release of "Singles." I did this for two reasons. 1) The soundtrack was pretty good, featuring Paul Westerberg, the Screaming Trees and Smashing Pumpkins (before they sucked).

2) This was Cameron Crowe's next film since the important Snooze Button Generation flick "Say Anything..."

Overall, "Singles" is a letdown. A big criticism of the film is that it was pieced together by the soundtrack, and that's probably true. With the release of a big-budget movie like that, it also meant the end of the grunge era.In hindsight, "Singles" had no chance of succeeding. It merely tried to capitalize on the popularity of the grunge movement in Seattle. But at least the movie taught me not to look forward to romantic comedies.

Thankfully, the grunge movement has been over for so long that it is cool again to like grunge rock. I estimate there was a 15-year waiting period with this, but there actually might be a 20-year waiting period. We might still have to wait five years for this to be cool again.

Acquaintance: What type of music do you like?
Snooze Button Generation: Grunge.
Acquaintance: Oh. OK. So I guess that explains the flannel shirt you're wearing in California in May. ... I thought you might be a lumberjack.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Let's unite to make the fanny pack sexy

I have a few major goals in life, and although some of those goals might be difficult to obtain, I think they are possible.

One of those goals is this:

Make the fanny pack sexy.

Due to my sophisticated heterosexuality, I believe I can wear a fanny pack and make it sexy. In other words, I think I can rock the fanny pack. And, man, when one rocks the fanny pack, look out. That is hot!

Two big problems hold back the fanny pack from being considered sexy. One is the name itself fanny pack. The word "fanny" just isn't sexy, although in Great Britain the term is much different than in the U.S. In some counter-cultures, other words are used in place of fanny pack. I personally like "hip sack."

Another problem the "hip sack" has with being sexy is that it is a bit bulky. Why not design a smaller, tighter hip sack?In an ideal world, I would be contacted by Coach or Prada to design the sexy fanny pack. If I would have an ad campaign for it, I would suggest one similar to Calvin Klein Obsession or Chanel No. 5.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Nuns: A dying breed

I do not mean to be judgmental with the lifestyles of nuns, but I can say this:

The lifestyle of a nun looks totally unattractive to me.

Catholic nuns take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and if I took those vows, I bet I would be extremely grumpy. Of course, there are other nuns than the Catholic ones, but I am most concerned with those nuns because I attended Catholic schools from first through 12th grade.

No doubt, nuns are a dying breed. In 1965, there were 180,000 nuns. Today, there are 60,000, and the average age of a nun is 69, according to a Time Magazine article a few years back.I have no big statement to make about nuns, other than to point out the numbers and avoid all puns with the word "habit." There are only 60,000 of them in the United States, which has 300 million people. I had nuns as teachers in first, second and sixth grade. Is it possible the Snooze Button Generation killed the nuns?

Chastity. Man, that seems tough. If it's a sin for nuns to masturbate, why don't they go for the gusto and hook up with the UPS guy? I don't want to sound sacrilegious, but if the poverty and obedience vows don't hurt enrollment, the chastity vow must be a humdinger.